Some Topics Require Them
For those who have been reading and following my posts over the past couple months, it won’t come as much of a surprise that I prefer a longer format than just a couple of paragraphs. Of course this doesn’t mean that I seek to write book-length essays, but I find that a number of the topics which I’ve covered recently deserve a lengthier response. That said, in the digital age where news it consumed at a light-speed rate, I realize that there is certainly something to be said for the terse blog post as opposed to its longer cousin. I suppose it’s worth noting where my tendency for longer posts came from, and why its germination was welcomed at the time.
Terse Little Blurbs Did Not Suffice
When I first began my career in blogging, as a music journalist as it were, shortened posts never got the job done to my liking. Terse little blurbs are cute and easy to read, but within the context of the music reviews and explanations, they do not suffice (and indeed the reason I started writing in the first place was because the reviews I was reading were unfocused pieces of fluff at best). Thus for me, it became necessary to lengthen the music article so that it addressed its subject matter appropriately — or at least to my liking.
I decided that if I was going to write music reviews, than my readers were going to be able to “hear” the music after reading my article. They would get a basic rundown of the instrumentation, the time breaks, the lyrics — things that make songs really unique. Otherwise, I reasoned to myself, what would be the point of reading a music review anyway? Music journalism, at its core, should be about the music, not the intra-band politics that so many publications seem to think take premier importance.
But I digress.
Debating with the World
To go along with my penchant for writing detailed posts on music and performances, it’s also worth acknowledging that I am and always have been a student of history. For non-history majors, this means that in my world, research and arguments go hand-in-hand, and you would never dream of presenting one without the other. As a result, I find it quite against my grain to write a post and not back it up with a series of sources and/or further arguments.
Brevity is indeed a virtue in many parts of life, but too much of a good thing is never good (as the saying goes). Brevity used beyond its worth doesn’t help you present a good piece to your readership; it leaves you with a dangling point, and them with questions about where the rest of the argument is. Does that mean that every post should be footnoted at the bottom? Of course not. But it does mean that presenting an argument that is fully-fleshed out (or as much as you can make it so) is much harder to disprove. There is something to be said for viewing every blog post as an opportunity to debate with the world. And win.
Originally published at adammarxsmind.wordpress.com on April 3, 2015.